The Commission started the meeting very strangely. They started by moving the items of the agenda all around. I’m not arguing that the rearranging was not beneficial. I’m just saying it starting things out with confusion. So they moved the discussion of SR. 347 to right after the consent agenda.
Again the discussion started with Phyllis Mercer, I’ve already stated my thoughts on her, stating her opinions on the road. Many others with historical connections spoke their thoughts with conviction. I am still a little confused why the road name means so much to so many especially when so many no longer live there.
Brian Rochester spoke on behalf of Lake Lanier Islands. He discussed the enormous economic impact from the Islands for Hall County through jobs and taxes. He also brought up my point that so many who use to live there no longer do. He was supported by what looked like 40 or 50 Lake Lanier Islands employees.
Commissioner Stowe was the first commissioner to speak. He spoke on the issue of road name confusion. Commissioner Powell then spoke. He stated he read every email on the topic. I’m going to take credit for that. Rumor is it was the first time he’s read constituent emails on a topic. I also was told he did meet and speak with Pam Puckett. I’ll take credit for that also. You are welcome Ms. Puckett. Commissioner Cooper then spoke on understanding the issue of community by emphasizing that she was a farmer who stayed when a 5 lane road plowed through her community. I will again state that I feel bad for her on this issue. These are the hard things that brand new elected officials have to deal with by putting themselves out for public service.
Lastly Commissioner Mecum spoke. He started by giving a history of the votes that led to the name change. He stated he was the only vote against the name originally. This is false for 2 reasons. One, he voted to name the new section from Spout Springs to 211, Lake Lanier Islands Pkwy. He then voted in a 3 to 2 vote against renaming Friendship Road to Lake Lanier Islands Pkwy. So no matter how you look at it he was not the lone vote against. He argued that everyone including the state legislature and the Governor wanted the road to be called Friendship Road. He never mentioned the thoughts of the Lt Governor or St Rep Carl Rogers while naming everyone else by name. Once he was done speaking the vote was held.
The vote ended up 3 to 2 for rescinding the name change of Friendship Road to Lake Lanier Islands Pkwy (key point) from 985 to 211. Now I’m super confused. What is now the name of the road from Spout Springs to 211? It had no name previously. It’s a brand new road. They technically rescinded nothing at all. I think the Commission will shortly figure out their procedural mistake and be forced to deal with it.
So for now SR. 347 is Friendship Road. How much of the road I am not really sure. I hope the Hospital can get mail.